10 Songs That Sound Better in the Summer

You know how you’ll be listening to your iPod on shuffle and suddenly that Nsync Christmas song will start playing and you just can’t hit the next button fast enough because it is so not Christmas time?  Yeah, that’s how I feel when it’s blizzard-ing outside and some dummy at the radio station has decided to play some Bob Marley.  It just doesn’t work.  Wrong season, wrong song.

Well it turns out it’s officially summer again.  As of last Friday in fact.  Did anyone else feel an extra pep in their step from the combined happiness of it being both a Friday and the summer solstice?  Even though I couldn’t stop coughing or clearing my throat (summer colds are the worst), I couldn’t help but feel pretty upbeat.  And seeing that it was officially summer, I couldn’t help but celebrate the return of songs that should only be played during the warm sunny months of the year.


1. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

Or really any Bob Marley song.  Because his music is the epitome of tropical-sounding and because tropical sounds so so wrong during the winter.  Except for when you, say, take a tropical vacation during the winter.  I can tell you from experience that there’s is nothing wrong about that.

2. “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys

With the exception of “Little Saint Nick,” aka one of my favorite Christmas songs, the Beach Boys should not be played in the winter.  And okay, all of their songs are summery, but Kokomo has always seemed especially summery to me.  Every time it pops up on my iPod, I can’t help but think of the little old lady who stood next to me at their concert last summer yelling “Play Kokomo!”  I wanted to high five her so bad.

3. “Summer Nights” by the cast of Grease

Okay, I’d be willing to bet no one would object to this song no matter the time of year, but it just sounds better when it really is “summer lovin.”  And when you’re in the car with the windows down and have another person with you so you can sing along and make it a real life duet!  Or is that just me?

4. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves

I dare you to be in a bad mood when this song suddenly comes on the radio this summer.

5. “Summertime” by Sublime

You know what, apparently this song is really called “Doin’ Time,” but was renamed?  Straight from Wikipedia, the ultimate source of knowledge.  Anyways, this one right here drives me insane.  Songs that talk about summertime in the chorus, do not get to be played in any other season.  Amiright?

6. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry

Not to be confused with “California Girls,” a much classier and more loved {by me} song by the Beach Boys.  FYI, nothing containing the word “Gurl” can be considered classy.  I know California (and California girls) exist in the winter too, but this song came out in the summer of 2010, was played every 10 minutes and I just so happened to be on a road trip of epic proportions in California.  For this reason, that song will forever be locked into my mind as a summer only kind of song.

7. “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

In the same vein as #6, this song will always be the song of the 2011 Summer Olympics.  Side Note: doesn’t the summer seem just a little bit more empty without the Olympics going on?  I actually watched an hour long segment on the Today Show on Monday about what the song of Summer 2013 will be.  How funny is it when Matt Lauer tries to approach these topics like they’re actual news stories?

8. “Hot in Herre” by Nelly

Remember when Nelly wore that Band-Aid on his face??  He doesn’t do that anymore, right?  I remember everyone talking about this song when it came out — it seemed extra risqué as a 6th grader — and I had no idea what it was because oh hey, I was still listening to oldies with my mom.  I eventually heard it and all clothing removal aside, “hot in herre” has got summer written all over it.

9. “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

I love love love breaking this song out come summertime.  And not just because I like to drive around with my windows down and pretend I’m a female rapper, but because this song is summertime.  And because rap, when done right, is poetry and this song speaks to my poetry-lovin’ heart.

10. “Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crowe

Okay I have this thing against Sheryl Crowe.  One time I was watching a VH1 special and there was a clip where she said “I don’t eat that much.  I just don’t really like food.”  I just can’t relate to a person like that.  But I guess I can still appreciate the summery-ness of this song.

I’m off to enjoy a summery weekend and maybe some of these songs.  Hope you’re about to do the same!


What’s your favorite “summer only!” song?

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